Chat-Based Gaming Conventions

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Skull and Shackles will be run using a combination of G+ Hangout (voice only) and Gmail chat. We’ve seen that the voice chat for out-of-character discussions speeds up rules questions and combat, while using text chat for in-character actions and conversations keeps a good level of immersion (as well as a log of the evening’s play).

We will NOT be using MapTool or Hamachi; combat will be “theater of the mind” style, and I’ll share player-friendly maps of different environments when it’s necessary to aid navigation. I will also post long descriptions to the chat window, as we all seem to find it easier to read (and refer back to) them than to listen. A § symbol means I’m done.

GM: You wake up the following morning in the dark, on a hard floor. You all remember the night before — the ringing laughter of a wild night, the heady joy of excess, the scents of rich stewed meat and perfume lingering in your nostrils. Your head pounds, and the sickly taste of cheap wine hasn’t quite left your mouths. A rhythmic creaking noise keeps time as the room seems to sway, as if you were still drunk. Before you can do much more than sit up, however, several pairs of heavy footsteps enter the dark room, and the harsh light of a lantern painfully spears your eyes.
GM: Master Scourge, the Wormwood’s boatswain, master-at-arms, and infamous disciplinarian, has entered the hold to wake you and get you up to the main deck. Six rough-looking Wormwood pirates, armed with saps, accompany him. An expression that might be mistaken for pain but which is clearly an attempt at a smile bruises Scourge’s face as he cracks the whip in his hand and screams at you.
GM: “Still abed with the sun over the yardarm? On your feet, ye filthy swabs! Get up on deck and report for duty before Cap’n Harrigan flays your flesh into sausage skins and has Fishguts fry ye up for breakfast!”§

Any action your PC takes gets * asterisks * on either side. (Be sure to leave a space, too, or it’ll come up in bold, which can be distracting.)

Chopper: * Chopper shields his eyes and peers at the distant ship, trying to identify her colors. *
Ezikial Hands: * Aims his pistol, tilting his head back and forth until his neck pops. *
Feruzi: * She follows the footprints that lead away from the beach, into the darkness of the jungle. *

Any dialog goes in “quotes.” If it isn’t obvious who is speaking, or to whom, or in which language, then please make it clear. You can also add physical business with the asterisks.

GM: The barkeep says, “Things have been quiet ’round here since Luck of the Draw left port.”
Chopper: “Do you need me to cut it off? No? Then quit yer whining.”
Ezikial Hands: (in Polyglot, to Feruzi) “Follow my lead. If things go south, that sniper up there’s yours.”
Feruzi: (whispers) “Understood.” * Readies her bow *

Finally, if you want to include out-of-character business in the chat window, please do so in (parentheses).

GM: * Owlbear Hartshorn swings a meaty fist at Chopper! *
GM: (my guess is that 24 hits.)
Chopper: (Turns out, yes.)
GM: (4 non-lethal) * He catches you right on the jawline. Blood flies from your lips, and one of your teeth feels loose. At least it’s your turn now. *

Ezikial Hands: * I search the cabin before he gets back. *
GM: (roll it)
Ezikial Hands: (Perception 17)
GM: * You find a lucky rabbit’s foot and a bottle of brandy. *
Ezikial Hands: * He hides the bottle on his person. Somebody else is gonna want that. *

I trust you to roll your own dice.

Chat-Based Gaming Conventions

Skull and Shackles DarthKrzysztof